A New York native, Vinny Magliulo is a VSiN oddsmaker and the sports book director for Gaughan Gaming in Las Vegas. He attended St. Anthony’s High School (then in Smithtown). He moved to Vegas 40 years ago to pursue a career that included running the sports books at Caesars Palace and Wynn Las Vegas. Catch Vinny with Brent Musburger on “My Guys in the Desert,” weekdays from 6 to 8 p.m. on VSiN.com and SiriusXM 204.
Why did you become an oddsmaker?
Well, when your name is Vinny and you’re from Brooklyn, it’s a natural career path, right? Sports and gambling were all around me wherever I went: I had a close friend whose father was a mutuels manager with NYRA, my uncle Tony took me to the track regularly, my relatives were always playing cards. Grandma Magliulo was particularly dangerous with a deck. Everyone in my neighborhood knew the odds and prices on games. I remember when Broadway Joe and the Jets were 18-point underdogs in Super Bowl III. And the Miracle Mets. When it came to the odds, it was the math I understood best and was intriguing to me.
How do I get in the business?
Be a good listener. Be a sponge. Break in as a ticket writer at a sports book. With sports wagering expanding, there will be more opportunities. That will teach you the vernacular, the procedures, then work your way up from there. Follow sports, be good at counting money, and have a good attitude. Be willing to listen to other perspectives.
Does the house always win?
No. The house doesn’t always win, and that’s OK. People need to know that they have a chance. When the house doesn’t always win, it actually increases business because when people do have success, they’ll tend to bet even more.
How do you calculate the odds?
The opening number for head-to-head matchups starts with a numerical power ranking for each side. You factor in performance against each other and common opponents, who’s home, who’s away, are there any injuries or trades? Those are key factors. Additionally, you anticipate how your clientele will bet.
What is the most popular sport to bet on?
Football is king. College football is now as popular as pro football. In Nevada, where nearly $5 billion was wagered last year, 50 to 55 percent of the action was on football, and it was split pretty evenly between pro football and college football.
OK, I’ve never bet on sports. Where do I start?
The best advice I could give you is to read as much as you can on sports betting. What VSiN and the New York Post are doing together with the daily tips and other stories is intended to educate the betting public.
What separates a pro from a recreational bettor?
Recreational bettors bet on teams, in most cases their teams. Professional bettors bet numbers or prices. That’s the biggest difference. Professional bettors tend to be more disciplined. Sometimes the most important bet is the one you don’t make. Pick your spots.
First in an occasional series. Have a question for Vinny? Email AskVinny@vsin.com